We have all dealt with the hassle of lugging a set of clothes to and from the dry cleaner. Which is why you may be pleased to find out that many of your dry-clean-only clothes can easily be freshened up without leaving the house. Washing those special garments by yourself is easier than you think — so start saving some time and money by learning how to dry-clean clothes at home.
Which garments can be dry-cleaned at home?
DIY dry-cleaning isn’t recommended for every garment. Items whose colors might bleed, are made of delicate fabrics — such as suede, leather, rayon, taffeta or fur — or anything with oil-based stains should be taken care of by a professional dry cleaner.
Instead, focus your home dry-cleaning efforts on clothing made of wool, silk, cotton, linen and durable polyester. When in doubt, always read the tag. The tag will provide valuable information on what kind of materials your garment is made of and how careful you should be when cleaning it.,
DIY dry-cleaning steps
While there’s a wide range of serviceable dry-cleaning sprays and dry-cleaning kits you can find at the store, you can actually do the job with a washer and some basic supplies that you probably already have on hand.
Follow these steps to do your own dry-cleaning .
1. Gather dry-cleaning products
First, gather your dry-cleaning supplies. You need only a few things:
Mesh bag: Washing machines put your clothes through a lot of rough activity. A mesh bag can help keep delicate items in good shape by protecting them from stretching and snagging while they’re in the wash.
Gentle laundry soap: Normal laundry detergent is too harsh for dry-clean-only garments, so make sure you use a laundry soap made for delicate clothing. Note that gentle laundry soap will sometimes have to be poured into your washer’s detergent dispenser, as opposed to directly in the drum.
Stain remover: If you have stains on your clothes, you’ll want to treat them as soon as possible with a stain remover prior to washing. Always check that your chosen stain remover is safe to use on your garment’s fabric before applying.
Steamer: After your clothes are washed and air-dried, a steamer can help remove any wrinkles.
2. Apply stain remover
If necessary, apply stain remover to the required spots on your clothes.
3. Place garments in mesh bag
Put your garments in a mesh bag for protection while they’re in the washer.
4. Set washing machine to delicate cycle
Run your clothes through the delicate cycle on your washing machine. This cycle uses the least amount of agitation to help your garments stay in good condition.
5. Add gentle laundry soap
Add gentle laundry soap to the washer. Follow the directions on the soap to see whether you need to add it to the drum or the dispenser.
6. Let garment air-dry
Hang or lay your garments flat to dry. Never put dry-clean-only clothes in the dryer because the heat could cause permanent damage.
7. Remove wrinkles with a steamer
Air-drying clothes can create a lot of wrinkles. Use a steamer as you see fit to straighten them out.
Whether you’ve had the same washer for years or just purchased a new smart washing machine, taking the time to care for it regularly can make all the difference in how long it lasts. Learn how to care for your washer and dryer to extend the life to your appliances.